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An Enlarged Prostate
What is benign prostatic enlargement?
Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPE) or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a medical term used to describe an enlarged prostate.
In simply terms, it means a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
What is the prostate gland and what does it do?
Of course, only men have a prostate gland. A healthy prostate gland is usually the shape and size of a walnut. It is positioned below the bladder and it surrounds the urethra.
The urethra is a tube through which men pass urine and semen. The main function of the prostate gland is to make fluid called semen to carry the sperm during ejaculation.
What causes an enlarged prostate?
It seems that doctors dont yet fully understand what makes the prostate gland grow. However, there are two factors that are common in most men.
It seems that men over fifty have a greater potential to have an enlarged prostate. So age plays a part in an enlarged prostate.
It seems that the balance of hormones in men changes as they get older and therefore may play a role in the growth of the prostate gland.
It also seems that obese men are at risk and men with diabetes. Some research suggests that if your father or brothers have the condition, then you may develop an enlarged prostate also.
What are some of the symptoms?
An enlarged prostate affects the urethra. The urethra narrows and causes the following symptoms: a weak urine flow, needing to urinate more often at night, difficulty starting to urinate, needing to rush to the toilet, feeling your bladder has not completely emptied, dribbling urine or blood in your urine.
What are the complications of an enlarged prostate?
It seems that a small number of men who have an enlarged prostate may develop complications like acute or chronic urine retention.
Acute urine retention is when you are suddenly unable to urinate this needs to be treated immediately. The usual treatment for acute urine retention is a catheter. The catheter drains the urine from the bladder.
Chronic urine retention is when you are not passing all of the urine in your bladder. Chronic urine retention develops more slowly than acute retention. Chronic urine retention can weaken the bladder muscle and cause bladder infections.
What are some tests that confirm an enlarged prostate?
Your doctor may ask you about your symptoms. He may ask for a urine test and a blood test. The blood test will check your PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen).
PSA is a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. Your PSA levels will rise if you have an enlarged prostate. Your doctor may do a digital rectal examination (DRE).
Your doctor may send you to an urologist. He will test your urine flow a machine that measures the flow of your urine. He will examine your stomach area with an ultrasound scan. He may also perform a cystoscopy a thin tube with an eye piece and a camera. The urologist passes the thin tube through your penis into the bladder.
What are the treatments for an enlarged prostate?
There are three main types of treatment for an enlarged prostate lifestyle changes, medicines (conventional or natural) or surgery.
Lifestyle changes may involve drinking less alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and fizzy drinks, drinking less in the evening, emptying your bladder before you go on a long journey, double voiding (waiting a few minute after you have finished urinating before trying to go again), eating more fruit and fibre and learning some bladder retraining techniques.
The main types of medicine for an enlarged prostate are: alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Some men take both as a combination treatment.
Two Natural supplements are Prostate Magic (formula using Chinese herbs) and Prostate Miracle.
Surgery is available for treating an enlarged prostate. These surgeries may include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP), transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP), transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) and open prostatectomy.
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What is an Enlarged Prostate?